Donate unwanted firearms to Sask. wildlife federation, group says amid new regulations

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Effective May 18, firearm sellers will need to confirm the buyer's identity and check the validity of their firearms licence with the firearms registrar. In light of this news, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation is reminding residents it can donate unwanted firearms and receive a tax-deductible receipt. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Effective May 18, firearm sellers will need to confirm the buyer's identity and check the validity of their firearms licence with the firearms registrar. In light of this news, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation is reminding residents it can donate unwanted firearms and receive a tax-deductible receipt. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press - image credit)

In light of new federal firearm regulations, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation is reminding residents about its "guns for habitat" program where people can donate unwanted firearms and receive a tax-deductible receipt.

The Liberal government has revised draft firearm regulations to ensure someone buying a gun actually has a valid licence.

When Bill C-71 received royal assent in 2019, the government said it would require sellers to verify the validity of a firearms licence before selling a non-restricted firearm, such as a rifle or shotgun.

However, proposed regulations included no obligation on the part of a seller to check with the federal firearms registrar to ensure that a prospective gun buyer had a valid licence — an omission that sparked criticism from gun-control advocates.

Final regulations made public on Wednesday closed that loophole. Starting May 18, sellers will need to confirm the buyer's identity and check the validity of their firearms licence with the firearms registrar.

The Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation (SWF) is encouraging anyone with unwanted firearms to contact its central office to arrange pickup before Wednesday. It said it can arrange for pickup anywhere in the province.

Firearms in good working condition are sold through fundraising events and proceeds support SWF's program that acquires and enhances habitat for wildlife.

SWF said it will still accept non-restricted firearm donations after this date and will work with the public to facilitate requirements of the new regulations.

Bill C-71 also requires vendors to keep records of non-restricted firearm transactions.

In addition, the legislation expands background checks that would determine eligibility for a firearms licence to a person's entire life, not just the last five years.

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